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Outreach Monks

Local Link Building: Your Guide to Dominating Local Search

Local Link Building Your Guide to Dominating Local Search

Getting your business noticed online is tough – especially when competing locally. 

Say, if you are in the clothing business, competing with big brands like Nike, Ralph Lauren, or Levi Strauss & Co., might be tough.

So, what should you do?

With their extensive budget and global presence, it’s nearly impossible to beat the big dogs.

Here’s what you should do: Focus on local customers.

There’s a way to increase your visibility and reach those “near me” searchers: local link building.

It will tell Google, “Well, this business might not be global, but they are something in this locality”.

Having said that, let’s break down the what, why, and how of local link building!

What Is Local Link Building?

Local link building is similar to normal link building. Getting a backlink from an external website.

But the only difference is, that it is from local sources. 

Think of it like getting a recommendation from a popular local shop or community group. It boosts your credibility with search engines and potential customers alike.

The Power of Local Links

Local links signal Google you’re recognized in your community. This boosts your ranking in local searches, putting you right in front of potential customers.

But there’s more to it than just search engines. Here’s why local links matter:

  • Attract the Right Audience: People who click on local links are often in your area and ready to buy. This means better quality leads.
  • Build Real Relationships: Local link building helps you connect with other businesses and websites in your area. Strong community ties can lead to valuable partnerships and opportunities.

Local Links, GMB, & NAP: Holy Trinity of Local SEO

The Holy Trinity of Local SEO

Before diving into specific link-building strategies, it’s important to have a rock-solid foundation. This means:

Claim and Optimize Your Google My Business (GMB) Profile

This is your business’s digital storefront on Google. Make sure all your information (Name, Address, Phone Number – your NAP) is accurate and up-to-date.

NAP Consistency Across the Web

Ensure your NAP information is exactly the same on your website, local directories, and anywhere else you’re listed online. Even slight differences can confuse search engines and hurt your local visibility.

Building Your Local Link Network: Actionable Strategies

You’ve got the foundation in place – time to build on it!  Let’s dive into specific link-building strategies that go beyond the basics and supercharge your local SEO.

I. The Basics (Listings and Directories)

Okay, this stuff isn’t super exciting. But it’s the foundation for getting found online locally. Think of it as the boring stuff you gotta do before the fun part (we’ll get to those strategies soon!).

Your Checklist:

1. Local Directories (Google My Business, Yelp, etc.) 

Get listed on the big ones in your town. Google My Business is extra important – it helps you pop up on Google Maps.

2. Citation Building (NAP Consistency) 

It sounds complicated, but it’s simple: make sure your business name, address, and phone number stay the same everywhere online.

3. Chamber of Commerce & Industry Groups

Lots of these have member directories with links. It’s a quick win and shows you’re part of the local business community.

Important: Even if a listing doesn’t have a link, it still helps! Search engines use this info to check if your business is real.

II. Relationship-Driven Strategies

Forget cold emails and generic outreach. Local link building thrives on genuine connections within your community. Here’s how to tap into that power:

4. Partnerships and Collaborations

Think creatively! Could you team up with a business that complements yours but isn’t a direct competitor? A simple “featured partner” section on both your websites with links is a win-win. Example: A bakery partners with a local coffee shop on a breakfast bundle deal.

5. Sponsorships and Community Involvement 

Support a local event, charity, or sports team. It’s great for your reputation and often gets you a mention (and a link!) on their website. Bonus points if it aligns with your brand’s values.

The Benefits:

  • Hyper-Relevant links: People clicking these links are genuinely interested in what’s in their area. That means better quality leads.
  • Building Goodwill: Being active in your community makes you a known and trusted presence – that translates to long-term business benefits way beyond a single link.

III. Content-Focused Strategies

Want links that come to you?  It’s all about creating stuff so awesome that other local websites want to share it. This takes a bit of work, but the payoff is huge for your local SEO. Here’s the game plan:

6. Local Guides and Resources 

Become THE expert in your area! This could be:

  • “Best of” lists: Think “Top 10 Brunch Spots in [City]”. People search for this stuff all the time!
  • Neighborhood Roundups: Show off what makes each part of town unique. This helps you pop up for neighborhood-specific searches.
  • Ultimate Guides“: Something like “The Ultimate Hiking Guide to [Your Region]”. This works for local folks and anyone interested in your area.

7. Data-Driven Studies and Reports

Survey your customers? Turn the results into a simple report. Local news outlets love this kind of thing, and those links are super valuable.

8. Guest Blogging on Local Websites 

Got some niche expertise? Find those smaller, hyper-local blogs and news sites and offer to write a guest post. A link back to your website in your author bio is the goal.

Remember:

  • Don’t Be Boring: Make your content actually interesting, not just filled with keywords.
  • Get the Word Out: Don’t be shy about sharing your awesome content! This helps it get in front of other businesses and websites that might link back to it.

IV. Outreach-Based Strategies

Sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands! With a little hustle, you can score some fantastic local links. Here’s how:

9. Pitching Local News and Bloggers

Got a unique story angle? Offer your expertise as a source? Pitch them! Even a small feature with a link back to your website can boost your local visibility.

10. Review Generation

Happy customers are your secret weapon. Encourage them to leave reviews on Google My Business, Yelp, and other relevant platforms. These often include links and send strong local signals to search engines.

11. Claiming Unlinked Mentions

Do a little digging to see if any local websites or blogs mention your business without a link. A polite email asking if they could add one often works wonders!

Pro Tip:

  • Personalize: Generic mass emails rarely work. Tailor your outreach to each specific website or blogger, showing why it’s a good fit for their audience.
  • Be Patient and Respectful: Don’t get discouraged by no’s. Persistence pays off, but don’t be spammy or pushy!

Pro Tips for Local Link Building Success

Pro Tips for Local Link Building Success

You’ve got the strategies down – now let’s make sure you get the most out of your efforts!

  • Consistency is Key: Don’t think of local link building as a one-time thing. Aim to get a few new links each month, and it’ll add up over time.
  • Quality over Quantity: A handful of links from relevant, respected local websites is way better than dozens of spammy ones.
  • Track Your Progress: Use tools like Google Search Console to see how your local search rankings change as you build links. This helps you see what’s working!
  • Don’t Neglect the Basics: Keep revisiting those foundational tactics – make sure your NAP is always accurate everywhere online.
  • Be a Good Neighbor: Join local networking groups, participate in community events… genuine connections often lead to online ones too!

Remember, local link building is a marathon, not a sprint. Keep at it, and you’ll see your business climb those local search results!

Conclusion

Remember, local link building isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it strategy.  It’s an ongoing process that will boost your search rankings over time. Here’s the game plan:

  • Nail the Basics: Keep your NAP consistent and get those directory listings.
  • Build Relationships: Connect with complementary businesses and find ways to collaborate.
  • Create Awesome Content: Make stuff people in your area actually want to share.
  • Don’t Be Shy: Reach out to local bloggers, pitch stories… a little hustle goes a long way.

Need help building those high-quality local links? That’s where OutreachMonks comes in. We specialize in local link building strategies that get results.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: My town is small. Are there enough link opportunities to make a difference?

A: Even in smaller areas, there are opportunities! Think community newsletters, niche blogs focusing on your town, even local hobby groups relevant to your industry.

Q: I'm in a competitive niche. Can local link building still help me stand out?

A: Yes! Focusing on hyperlocal keywords (your industry + location) and offering unique content that big competitors don't have will help you rank.

Q: What if I don't have time for blogging and content creation?

A: Start small! Sponsor a local event (with a link!), offer a discount to customers of another local business, or even do a roundup of your favorite neighborhood spots.

Q: How do I find businesses to partner with that aren't direct competitors?

A: Think outside the box! A coffee shop could partner with a bakery, a pet groomer with a pet supply store – get creative about who serves a similar audience.

Q: My website is new, and I need links fast. What's the quickest way to boost my local visibility?

A: Building a strong local backlink profile takes time, but there are ways to accelerate the process. Consider partnering with a reputable link-building service (like OutreachMonks!).

Disavowing Backlinks: What is it and How is it Done in Console?

Disavowing Backlinks

 A strong backlink profile is a major factor in successful SEO. But do you know what a strong backlink profile is?

Here are some factors which decide that the backlink profile is very strong:

Quality backlinks

– Authority referring domain

– No link spam

– No link scheme

But sometimes, there are situations where you have all types of backlinks pointing towards your site (due to many reasons). These backlinks include high-quality as well as low-quality ones. 

In that situation, you have to remove these low-quality spammy links. That’s where disavowing backlinks comes into the picture. 

What is Disavowing?

Disavowing means asking search engines like Google to ignore some links to your website. This helps ensure those links don’t impact how your site is viewed and ranked in search results.

This is typically done using a disavow tool provided by the search engine, where you can submit a list of URLs or domains that you want to disavow.

What are Bad Backlinks?

Bad backlinks are links from other websites that can harm your website’s reputation and search engine rankings.

Key traits of bad backlinks are: 

  • Low-quality sources
  • Unnatural patterns
  • Irrelevant content

PRECAP

Understand why disavowing links is key to protecting your SEO and keeping your search engine rankings high.

✅Learn the steps to use Google’s Disavow Tool to tell search engines which backlinks to ignore, safeguarding your website’s reputation.

✅Get tips on identifying harmful backlinks that should be disavowed, including those from sketchy sources or with irrelevant content.

✅Discover third-party tools that can help with the disavowal process, making it easier to manage your backlinks and keep your site’s SEO strong.

Why Disavow Links?

Disavowing links is a crucial step in protecting your website’s SEO. Bad backlinks can harm your site’s search engine rankings. 

By disavowing these links, you show that you don’t support low-quality or spammy sites linking to you. This helps maintain your website’s reputation. 

Additionally, disavowing links can prevent search engines from penalizing your site for having too many harmful links.

Understanding Backlinks and Google’s Approach:

Backlinks are important, but not as much as normal SEOs understand them. They help Google find your website and your content and help understand relevance. But this work is done only with some high quality backlinks

Over time, Google understood and developed algorithms to separate bad backlinks from good backlinks. However, over time, Google also understood that any penalty for bad backlinks would cause more damage to the website. 

Because backlinks can be generated in any way for a website. Google has developed a reward system for high-quality backlinks but has not developed a penalty for bad backlinks. 

However, this does not mean that PBN links or link schemes are harmless. I am only talking about low-quality backlinks, and Google does not penalize them.

How to Disavow Backlinks?

You might encounter backlinks that negatively affect your site’s performance. Disavowing these links is crucial for protecting your site’s integrity and ensuring your search engine rankings remain unaffected. Here’s a straightforward look at how to identify and disavow unwanted backlinks.

Introduction to the Disavow Tool:

Disavow tool is not a direct part of the search console like removals, but it is useful for webmasters and works to remove useless elements like the removals tool. 

With the disavow tool, you can remove bad backlinks found on your website. These backlinks 

  • maybe made by you or 
  • have been made over the time, or 
  • maybe made by your competitor to harm your website. 

You can remove them from the disavow tool. However, before using this tool, it is very important to understand some things.

When to Use the Disavow Tool?

Use the disavow tool only for links you’re sure to harm your site. When in doubt, leave it out.

Accessing the Disavow Tool:

The disavow tool cannot be accessed from inside the search console. It has its own direct link, which you will find below:

https://search.google.com/search-console/disavow-links

By the way, look at this URL carefully, search.google.com/search-console/disavow-links. There is a search console in the middle here. That’s why this tool’s direct access is covered in the search console series even though it is not from the search console. 

If anyone ever asks whether the disavow tool is part of the search console, you can say with complete confidence that it is.

Disavow Bad Backlinks:

Let’s start disavowing those toxic backlinks.

1. Login and Select Website

Log in with your correct Gmail ID and select the website from this drop-down whose bad backlinks you want to disavow.

2. Upload Disavow File

After selecting the correct property here, you will get the option to upload the disavow file. 

The disavow list file should be in .txt format. 

SEMrush, Ahrefs, and all other important tools give you the facility to generate the disavowed file automatically. But if you want, you can easily make your disavow file. Open a notepad and paste all the backlinks that you want to pin, that is, you want to disavow from your website.

Formatting Tips: Type the same backlink URL in one line. 

If you want to disavow all the backlinks coming from a specific domain, then type it in one line like this,

– domain:example.com

– domain:sample.example.com

With this instruction, all the backlinks coming from example.com, whether it is example.com/abcd or example.com/xyz/abcd, are disavowed at once. 

In this one file, there can’t be more than 1 lakh lines, or its total size can’t be more than 2 MB.

3. Finalizing Disavowal

Once you have typed all the URLs in this notepad file, then save it in .txt format and then upload it. 

If there is any error in your file, then an error window like this will appear. 

If the file is correct, then you will see the information like this: 

The name of your file and upload time are shown. 

If you want to cancel the disavow request, click on the cancel button. And if you want to download this file, click on the download list. If you want to upload a new disavow file, click on replace.

How to Find Which Backlinks to Disavow?

Alright, let’s break it down to basics – finding backlinks to kick to the curb:

  1. Grab a Backlink List: Start by pulling up all the sites linking to you. Google’s Search Console is your friend here.
  2. Spot the Shady Links: Keep an eye out for links from sites that just don’t mesh with your vibe or scream “spam.”
  3. Quality Check: If a site looks sketchy or the link to your page is in a weird spot, it’s probably not helping you.
  4. Look for Red Flags: An unexpected flood of backlinks? That could be someone trying to mess with your site’s ranking.
  5. Trust Your Gut: If a link doesn’t feel right and isn’t adding any value, it’s probably best to ditch it.
  6. Save the Winners: Remember, it’s not about ditching all backlinks, just the ones that don’t do you any favors.

So there you have it, a no-fuss way to tidy up your backlink scene. Keep what works, toss what doesn’t, and always go with your gut feeling.

3rd Party Disavow Links Tool 

Here are tools designed to streamline the process, helping you identify and manage backlinks that should be disavowed:

  1. Disavow Files (CognitiveSEO): While CognitiveSEO is a full SEO suite, it offers a feature specifically for managing and generating disavow files. This functionality helps you review your backlinks, decide which ones might harm your SEO, and then easily compile and export a disavow file.
  2. Link Detox (by LinkResearchTools): This tool specializes in identifying toxic backlinks that may harm your site’s search ranking. Link Detox analyzes your backlink profile and suggests links to disavow. It can generate a disavow file that’s ready to upload to Google’s Disavow Tool.
  3. Disavow.it: Disavow.it is a simple, user-friendly tool that helps you compile and format your disavow file. While it doesn’t help with the identification process, it’s perfect for creating a properly formatted disavow file after you’ve identified which links to remove. Just paste your list of URLs or domains, and it generates a file that’s ready to be submitted to Google.

These tools offer a mix of identification and file preparation functionalities tailored toward the disavowal process. 

Conclusion

Through disavowing, you’re essentially telling search engines, “Hey, ignore these links; they’re not a good fit for my site.” The key? Don’t go on a disavow spree.

Use tools, yes, but also trust your judgment. Not every backlink you’re iffy about needs to go.

And remember, mistakes happen. If you disavow a good link by accident, it’s fixable.

It’s a process of learning that links to cut. Give it time, and you’ll get sharper at it.

Keeping your site’s backlink profile clean is crucial, but no need to stress over every single link. Keep it chill and methodical.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can disavowing backlinks accidentally harm my SEO?

Yes, disavowing good backlinks can negatively impact your SEO. Be cautious and only disavow links that are clearly harmful.

Is there a limit to the number of backlinks I can disavow?

No, there's no specific limit, but it's important only to disavow links that are truly harmful to your site's reputation.

How long does it take for disavowed backlinks to be removed from my backlink profile?

Disavowed backlinks can take a few weeks to several months to reflect in your backlink profile and search rankings.

Can I undo a disavow action if I made a mistake?

Yes, you can remove the link from your disavow file and resubmit it. However, it may take some time for the change to take effect.

Should I disavow backlinks from social media platforms?

Generally, you don't need to disavow backlinks from reputable social media platforms unless they are part of a spammy or artificial link scheme.